Verify: Did Congress move to repeal medical tax deductions?

Did Congress move to repeal medical deductions in tax reform?

QUESTION:

Did Congress move to repeal medical deductions in tax reform?

ANSWER:

Yes. The House passed a provision that would repeal deductions for medical treatment and pharmaceuticals. The Senate left the deductions intact. 

SOURCES:

The Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 

The House Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

IRS Medical Deductions

Congressional Budget Office- Letter from Director Keith Hall to U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

PROCESS:

Tax reform will unquestionable reach every corner of society--the wealthy, the destitute, students, schools, the sick, the healthy, businesses big and small. 

Geraldine, a Verify viewer, wanted us to explain how the new tax plan would effect her. Geraldine told Verify she's a cancer patient and her chemo treatments can climb to $3,000 per week. She's always been able to get a tax break.

Currently you can deduct only the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

That means if your total income is $65,000 a year, 10 percent would be $6,500. If you have chronic illness and your treatment costs $15,000, you are eligible for a $8,500 deduction. 

Geraldine wanted to know if anything's changed under the new tax reform. 

Turns out the House of Representatives passed a version that removes that deduction. The Senate version kept the deduction intact. 

There's no way of knowing what will stay and what will go during the conference committee, when elected House and Senate preventatives will hammer out the differences between the bills. 

Nine Republicans and 5 Democrats will represent the House in conference.

Geraldine also asked the Verify team whether Medicare would no longer cover her cancer treatments. That one's too case specific and not black and white.

What we can Verify is that the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the GOP tax reform could add $1.4 trillion to the national debt. 

Because of a law passed under the Obama administration, you can't add to the national debt without reducing spending elsewhere. Under the Congressional Budget Office prediction, Medicare could face a 4 percent cutback of 25 billion dollars.

How this would affect cancer coverage--only time will tell. 

Help VERIFY

Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment